Major General Nasir Ul Islam MBBS, MRCP (1935-2020)

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Obituary
Major General Nasir Ul Islam
MBBS, MRCP (1935-2020)
By Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed Akhtar
Former Surgeon General/DG Pak Armed Forces

Maj. General Nasir Ul Islam former Director General of Medicine of Armed Forces of Pakistan passed away on 1st October 2020. The cause of death was Corona virus infection. He was 85 years of age.

Maj. Gen. Nasir ul Islam was born at Meerut, India where his father was a medical officer of the Cantonment General Hospital. On partition the family migrated to Rawalpindi, Pakistan. His father Dr. Syed Qamar ul Islam was posted medical officer of the Cantonment General Hospital, Rawalpindi. He obtained MBBS qualification from the King Edward Medical College Lahore in 1958 with merit. He did house job in Medicine with Lt Col Illahi Bakhsh, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics at Mayo Hospital/KEMC.


Maj. Gen. Nasir ul Islam

After finishing his house job he joined the Army Medical Corps in 1959. In 1961 he did one year training in medicine at the AFM College/MH Rawalpindi- became graded Medical Specialist. In 1964 he proceeded to UK, obtained MRCP qualification later got specialist training in the subject of Nephrology. He was the pioneer in Nephrology specialty in Pakistan. He was posted as a senior Medical Specialist at different Military hospitals. Later he proceeded to Saudi Arabia on deputation as a Medical Specialist. He became very popular in Saudi Arabia. His deputation was extended to five years. On returning to Pakistan he was posted to PAF Hospital Drigh Road Karachi, later to PAF Hospital Sargodha Air Base. He was very much liked by the PAF personnel, stayed for five years at Sargodha- was released for reversion to Pakistan Army and was promoted to the rank of Major General. In 1991 he was appointed a professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the Army Medical College and Medical Specialist at MH Rawalpindi. Later he was appointed Director General Medicine of the Pak Armed Forces. He was on my staff when I was the Surgeon General /DGMS (IS). He retired in 1996 after 37 years of meritorious service. After retirement he established his clinic at his residence at Westridge Rawalpindi.

Brig Ayub Khan (later Lt Gen) used to visit Cantonment General Hospital on every Saturday evening to provide consultations to the indoor and outdoor patients of CGH, Rawalpindi, Maj Gen Nasir Ul Islam’s father Dr. Syed Qamar ul Islam, in-charge CGH used to refer for consultations. I was the Staff Surgeon and General Medical Specialist at MH Rawalpindi, I used to attend the patients. It was voluntary work. In those days there was no lust for money- voluntary work was done commonly. Doctors would not charge doctors and their families. Doctors enjoyed a lot of respect amongst the public. Maj Gen Nasir Ul Islam used to say his father always advised him to try to diagnose the patient’s ailments clinically, do a few tests and use minimum only essential medicines.


Maj Gen Nasir ul Islam was a soft spoken, well-dressed gentle man, highly ethical and a competent Physician. He had humility and empathy. He was a compassionate clinician- very kind to poor patients, treated them without charging fee. He had excellent hand writing which is very unusual among doctors.

After my wife, Prof. Dr. Khalida Adeeb Khanum Akhtar’s death in Oct 2015, he visited me on every Sunday evening without fail till this Pandemic lockdown started in April 2020. Maj. Gen. Nasir ul Islam faced a major tragedy in his life- his son was murdered while studying at Agha Khan Medical College Karachi. He is survived by his beloved wife. May Allah bless his soul with eternal peace (Ameen).